NSA Spying Scandal – US Checks and Balances System Is Broken

The founders of the United States envisioned a federal government that was constrained by a written Constitution, which further diluted power within that government into four competing branches. Those branches were the two houses of Congress, which were clearly supposed to be dominant in the federal sphere, and the executive and the judiciary. Unfortunately, over the more than two-and-a-third centuries of U.S. history, that’s not how it’s turned out. And the NSA spying scandal, more than anything else, shows that the founders’ original system has gone badly off the rails.

National Security Agency Seal

The founders’ idea of constraining government by a written Constitution and a system of checks and balances among the disparate branches was a good one. The system has probably slowed government encroachment on individual rights more than any other governmental system in the world. Yet constitutions and checks and balances are only parchment barriers to tyranny if the underlying political culture becomes broken. And the NSA spying scandal seems to indicate that it may have become so.

We have moved from the George W. Bush administration, which conducted an illegal and unconstitutional program of NSA spying on Americans, to the Obama administration, which is conducting a legal but unconstitutional NSA snooping effort. This change may seem to be at least an improvement, but it’s not.

When Congress discovered that the Bush administration was flouting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court and thereby not getting warrants to spy on Americans, it was outraged. In fact, Congress was so outraged that it widened that administration’s ability under law to do warrantless wiretapping!

Read the rest via NSA Spying Scandal – US Checks and Balances System Is Broken | Antiwar.com Original.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s